Annual public air raid drills to be streamlined amid COVID-19

The Wan An drill in Kaohsiung in 2019.

TAIPEI (CNA) — The annual Wan An drills, which involves the public, will be limited to one day this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday.

The air raid drills, which are usually held in different parts of Taiwan over a one-week period, will be conducted on Taiwan proper and the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on July 14 this year, the ministry said.

The alarms for the start of air raid drill will sound across the country at 1:30 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. to signal the end of the drill, the MND said.

Due to Taiwan’s COVID-19 prevention measures, however, traffic will not be halted nor will pedestrians be required to take shelter during the 30-minute period, as is usually the rule, the ministry said.

Usually, all traffic comes to a standstill during the air raid drills, while metro, rail services, and flights maintain normal schedule, but disembarking passengers are normally required to remain inside the station or airport until the drill ends.